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Drilling Deep
1:01 pm
Sat February 14, 2015

Big Picture: Mapping New Oil And Gas Development

A view of flaring last fall near Lybrook, New Mexico.
Credit Laura Paskus

When the US Bureau of Land Management's Farmington District Manager, Victoria Barr, came into the KUNM studio for the Call In Show, she brought a brand-new map with her. She sent along the PDF, for those who would like to take a look at the active leases and special designated areas near Chaco Canyon National Historical Park.

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Local News
8:32 am
Sat February 14, 2015

Headlines: Senate Sides With Coyotes, APD Training Boss Resigns...

Credit wplynn via flickr.com

New Mexico Senate OKs Bill To Ban Coyote-Killing Contests – The Associated Press

The New Mexico Senate has approved a measure that would ban coyote-killing contests.

The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Mark Moores of Albuquerque and Democrat Rep. Jeff Steinborn was approved on a 27-13 vote Friday. It now heads to the House for consideration.

Moores says the bill would end coyote-killing contests without restricting the ability of farmers and ranchers to protect their livestock.

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People, Power And Democracy
7:24 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

Politics Propels Driver's License Debate

Credit John Hartman via Flickr

New Mexico state representatives voted Thursday to repeal a state law that allows people to get New Mexico driver’s licenses even if they’re in the country illegally.  Some observers see this as a political battle in which winning the war isn’t as important as fighting the battle.

Pointing to several examples of fraud, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez asked state lawmakers again this year to stop allowing immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally to get driver’s licenses here.

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Public Health New Mexico
6:15 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

Final 2015 Health Insurance Deadline Is Sunday

Credit bewellnm

New Mexico residents have only a few days left before the February 15 deadline to sign up for health insurance and to be covered by March 1, 2015.

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Local News
6:14 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

Fair Share And Right To Work Explained

Credit Miki Ann via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Federal law prohibits employers from forcing workers to join unions in order to get jobs.

But in New Mexico, unions can negotiate a fair share agreement. Workers who benefit from what a union has done–negotiated for better wages, for example–can then be required to pay some fees to the union, even if they aren’t dues-paying members.

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Entertainment
8:56 am
Fri February 13, 2015

An Isolated Tower In The Gila National Forest

The view from the tower.
Credit www.philipconnors.com

In 2011, writer Philip Connors recounted his experiences as a wilderness lookout in southwestern New Mexico in the award-winning field narrative, "Fire Season."  In a new memoir, "All the Wrong Places, A Life Lost and  Found," published this month by Norton, Connors reveals the family tragedy that set him on a journey of  discovery and introspection that eventually led to the solace of that 50-foot tower.   Philip Connors signs copies of the new book on February 19 at Bookworks in Albuquerque and on February 20 at Collected Works in San

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Friday News Roundup
8:31 am
Fri February 13, 2015

Headlines: House Repeals Immigrant Driver's Licenses, Medical Marijuana Rules...

Credit New Mexico Dept of Taxation and Revenue

New Mexico House Votes To Repeal Immigrant Driver's LicensesThe Associated Press

The New Mexico House of Representatives has passed a bill that ends the state's practice of issuing driver's licenses to people suspected of being in the country illegally.

The bill passed after three hours of debate by a vote of 39-29, with two Democrats siding with the Republicans in the majority.

The bill now moves to the Democrat-controlled Senate for a vote.  Democrats have vowed to fight the legislation.

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Local News
6:28 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Kids, Parents To March For Early Childhood Education

A huge amount of childhood brain development takes place during the preschool years.
Credit Donker Dink via Flickr

 

A ton of little kids and their parents will take to the steps of the Roundhouse on Friday. The 1000 Kid March is calling for lawmakers to fully fund early childhood education.

It would cost nearly $400 million a year to pay for things like childcare and preschool for all eligible low-income families in New Mexico. The state spends just a fraction of that now.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:36 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

The APD Files: Len Fuentes And Mental Health

Len Fuentes
Credit Sylvia Fuentes

You’ve heard of James Boyd, the homeless man who was killed by Albuquerque police last year. But you might not have heard of Len Fuentes. He, too, was mentally ill when he brandished a knife and was shot and killed by APD.

Fuentes’ mom said she had found mental health care for her son, but it was three days too late.   

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Thursday News Roundup
8:40 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Headlines: Barelas Steps Up For Homeless, Forgotten Latino Scholar May Get School...

Credit Asaavedra32 / Wikimedia Commons

Homeless Allowed To Stay On Vacant Lot Near Former Tent SiteThe Associated Press

Homeless people evicted from an encampment on city-owned property in downtown Albuquerque are being allowed to move to a nearby vacant lot owned by a neighborhood association.

Police and city officials earlier this week issued eviction notices giving people staying in the so-called "Tent City" to leave by Thursday.

The Barelas Neighborhood Association has given the campers permission to stay on piece of property that the association owns a few blocks away.

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People, Power And Democracy
7:27 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

VIDEO: Citizen Lobbyists Learn The Ropes

Citizen lobbyists train with the Rio Grande chapter of the Sierra Club at the Santa Fe Capitol on Wednesday.
Credit Gwyneth Doland

They don’t have big expense accounts or cozy relationships with powerful lawmakers. They don’t even know where the bathroom is. They’re citizen lobbyists, and they got some training at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe Wednesday.

Members of 20 conservation groups converged on the state capitol and a few dozen of them attended a training session held by the Sierra Club.

They were teachers, writers and retired engineers, passionate about ending coyote-killing contests, cleaning up uranium mines and preventing the diversion of the Gila River.

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Local News
5:52 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Albuquerque Quietly Moves Forward With Bosque Plan

The City of Albuquerque bulldozed a half mile stretch through the Bosque north of Central. They are building an ADA compliant multi-use trail.
Credit Rita Daniels

The City of Albuquerque quietly started bulldozing a six-foot wide trail through sensitive areas of the Rio Grande bosque on Tuesday.

Advocates with the Bosque Action Team (BAT) who want to preserve the area’s wildlife habitats are up in arms about the new construction, calling for protection of the delicate ecosystem in the forest along the river.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:38 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Tent City Residents Face Deadline

Credit Ed Williams-KUNM

Wednesday was the last day for homeless people living in a tent city to leave their camp on 1st Street in downtown Albuquerque. Most of the camp’s occupants have already moved out.  

About five occupied tents remain just north of Albuquerque’s rail yards. Not long ago 35 tents had spread along this strip of city property, prompting complaints from neighbors and support from advocates.

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Wednesday News Roundup
8:36 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Headlines: Petroglyph Vandalism, Enhancing Sunshine Portal...

Credit National Park Service

Vandalism Found In Petroglyph National MonumentThe Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal

Graffiti and other vandalism have been found in a section of the Petroglyph National Monument in west Albuquerque.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that monument Superintendent Dennis Vásquez was exploring a section of the monument last week when he found debris, evidence of campfires, motorcycle tracks and graffiti.

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Drilling Deep
6:15 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Pipeline Plan Ignites Controversy

The traffic is heavy in Lybrook, New Mexico.
Credit Laura Paskus

UPDATE 2/12: All told, the BLM ended up receiving about 30,000 comments on the proposed Piñon Pipeline. That's according to Victoria Barr of the BLM's Farmington Field Office who discussed oil and gas development in northwestern New Mexico on the KUNM Call In Show.   

+++

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Tuesday News Roundup
8:59 am
Tue February 10, 2015

Headlines: Protecting Pregnant Workers, Tent City Eviction...

Credit pixnpics via Flickr

Bill Would Protect Pregnant Workers In New MexicoThe Associated Press

A New Mexico lawmaker has introduced legislation that would require employers to provide reasonable accommodations for working pregnant women.

Representative Terry McMillan of Las Cruces says the state can do a better job protecting pregnant women in the workplace. He says his bill would bring the state in line with federal standards.

Reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers would include more flexibility of schedules as well as shorter hours or leave time.

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Local News
8:28 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Universal Background Checks At Gun Shows Off The Table, For Now

Three hours into the hearing Representative Smith (R) of Sandia Park motioned to table HB44.
Credit Rita Daniels

National Rife Association members joined Quakers and a slew of other people at a committee hearing at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe this weekend to comment on a bill that would have required universal background checks at gun shows in New Mexico. The bill was defeated on a party line vote, but the issue is likely to stick around.

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People, Power And Democracy
6:27 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Lobbyist Disclosure Reforms Shelved

Credit Thomas Hawk via Flickr

Skeptical lawmakers rejected a proposal Monday that would have given the public more information about lobbying at the state Legislature.

The bill (HB 155) would have required lobbyists to divulge their salaries, file reports of their estimated and actual lobbying expenses, and list the issues—but not the exact bills—they are working on.

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KUNM Call In Show
2:36 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Oil Industry Creeps Up On Chaco Communities

Credit Johnny Clark via Flickr

KUNM Call In Show 2/12 8a: 

Oil and gas development may be moving closer to Chaco Canyon National Historical Park and the many tribal communities in northwestern New Mexico. Residents there, along with archaeologists and advocates, are questioning the burgeoning development. 

What effect might encroachment have upon these communities? What about nearby ancient sites? How can we strike a balance between modern day energy needs, healthy communities and the preservation of ancient sites? 

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Monday News Roundup
8:43 am
Mon February 9, 2015

Headlines: Transparency In Santa Fe, Vote On Drivers Licenses...

Credit Tall Chris via Flickr

New Mexico Website Drops Easy Scanning Feature On LobbyistsThe Associated Press and Santa Fe New Mexican

New Mexico's online system for tracking lobbyists' spending on legislators is not as transparent as it used to be.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that a recent change in the website operated by the Secretary of State's Office no longer makes it easy to scan reports in which lobbyists must report expenditures larger than $500 within 48 hours.

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Local News
8:23 am
Sat February 7, 2015

Headlines: South Valley Art Project, PNM Energy Plan...

Public art projects such as this downtown Albuquerque mural are popular ways to connect with our heritage. Bernalillo County and local artists hope to welcome visitors to the South Valley with a Latino themed installation.
Credit teofilo via flickr.com

Art Project At Albuquerque's South Valley Bridge Eyed The Associated Press

Artists and Bernalillo County officials are preparing to hold a series of community meetings aimed at creating a Latino-themed art project for a bridge at the entrance of Albuquerque's South Valley.

The first meeting is scheduled Feb. 17 at the National Hispanic Cultural Center Education Center.

Officials say the session will focus on gathering stories, history, and photos of the South Valley.

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People, Power And Democracy
6:31 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Legislative Update: Money, Sex And Guns

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Gwyneth Doland chatted with Chris Boros about happenings at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe this week. It's part of our People, Power and Democracy project, a reporting partnership between KUNM, New Mexico In Depth and New Mexico PBS. 

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Local News
5:31 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Stash of Momaday Prints Found In Old Meth Lab

The recovered pieces of Al Momaday's artwork are thought to be worth $33,000.
Credit Courtesy Albuquerque Museum

Curators at the Albuquerque Museum identified artwork that police found while boarding up a condemned meth lab. 

Titus O’Brien is the museum's Art Program Specialist. He says it was peculiar earlier this week when police brought in 72 signed prints by the late renowned Kiowa artist Al Momaday.

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People, Power And Democracy
3:35 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Lobbyists Lax On Spending Disclosures

A teddy bear from the New Mexico Primary Care Association sits atop a House staffer's computer monitor. The group is one of several that annually distributes gifts to lawmakers and staff.
Credit Sandra Fish / New Mexico In Depth

Ski passes. Dinner parties. Meals during committee hearings. Basketball and football tickets.

Individual lobbyists spent more than $1.6 million on gifts, meals and entertainment for New Mexico’s elected officials and staff in the four years from 2011 through 2014. Most of that went to the lawmakers in the New Mexico Legislature, but other elected officials and staffers benefitted too.

Over the same period businesses and organizations spent more than $379,000 directly to fete elected officials with parties, golf passes and more.

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Friday News Roundup
8:41 am
Fri February 6, 2015

Headlines: Santa Fe Vaccination Mandate, Heated Rhetoric At Legislature...

Credit lu_lu via flickr

Santa Fe Schools To Enforce Vaccination Mandate For MeaslesThe Associated Press and Santa Fe New Mexican

Santa Fe public school students without up-to-date measles vaccinations or valid waivers for medical or religious reasons won't be able to attend classes starting Feb. 17.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the district's stricter enforcement of state requirements for student vaccinations comes at a time when measles has been reported recently in other states.

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Public Health New Mexico
3:09 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

New Jail Chief Talks Mental Health, Methadone

Credit MDC Chief Phillip Greer

The Bernalillo County jail’s chief resigned more than nine months ago. Phillip Greer filled the position last month at the Metropolitan Detention Center, the 39th biggest jail in the country. Greer hails from Minnesota, where he was the executive director of corrections for three counties, and he has a background in assuring jails comply with national standards.  

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Thursday News Roundup
8:34 am
Thu February 5, 2015

Headlines: House Panel Eyes E-Cigarette Sales To Minors, Pipeline Application Withdrawn...

Credit The Norlo / Wikimedia Commons

New Mexico House Panel Eyes E-Cigarette Sales Ban To MinorsThe Associated Press

A New Mexico House panel is set to debate a bill that would outlaw e-cigarette sales to minors.

The House Health Committee is scheduled Thursday to take up a proposal that would add electronic cigarettes to the state's Tobacco Products Act.

Rep. Monica Youngblood, an Albuquerque Republican, is sponsoring the bill.

Battery-powered e-cigarettes heat a liquid solution, usually containing nicotine, to create vapor that users inhale.

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Local News
8:07 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Background Checks Back On The Agenda In Santa Fe

Sixteen states require background checks on anyone wanting to purchase a firearm at a gun show.
Credit akahawkeyefan via flickr

Lawmakers will hear public comment this weekend on a proposal to require background checks  at gun shows. 

Shopkeepers in New Mexico are required to run background checks on anyone who tries to buy a gun - convicted felons or people deemed mentally unstable are turned away.

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People, Power And Democracy
7:58 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Payday Loan Cap On Hold Despite Prayers

Credit ChrisGoldNY via Flickr

Despite the vocal support of a group of religious leaders, a legislative panel decided on a party-line vote Wednesday to set aside two proposals (HB 24 and HB36) that would have limited interest rates on short-term loans.

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Wednesday News Roundup
8:38 am
Wed February 4, 2015

Headlines: Santa Fe State Of The City, APD Officer Hurt In Hit And Run Accident...

Credit City of Santa Fe

Santa Fe Mayor Wants Gender-Neutral Bathrooms, Film PushThe Associated Press

Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales wants his city to have gender-neutral bathrooms and to launch a new push to attract film productions.

Gonzales made the proposals in his first State of the City address yesterday. The address was titled "One Santa Fe, One City, One Family."

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